Blandford Road

First laid out sometime near the beginning of the twentieth century, Blandford Road was made up of no more than seventeen properties for the first twenty years or so of its existence, with odd numbered houses on the north side and evens on the south.

During the thirties there began large scale expansion, number 25 had appeared by 1937 and 65 within two more years, beyond that, curiously enough there was the lone No.142. After the war the Efford Estate expanded yet further and by 1951, what was now one of Plymouth’s longest single streets had reached its present limit – No.491.

The name Blandford, or Marquis of Blandford, is the courtesy title of the son of the Duke of Marlborough and it was conferred upon John Churchill, son of Sir WinstonChurchill, in December 1702.

This member of the Churchill family was one of England’s greatest ever generals – he never lost a single battle – and he was born in Ashe House, Musbury (near Seaton) in Devon, not far from the Dorset border, and it is in Dorset that we find Blandford. It would appear however that the first Blandford Street in London owed its name not to the Churchill’s but to Portman family who had a seat at Bryanston near Blandford Forum (Bryanston Square is nearby).

The name Blandford itself meanwhile appears to derive from the “ford of the gudgeon” (a fish typically used by anglers for bait).